If you suddenly find yourself without running water in the middle of a cold spell, when snow and/or ice is around, you might have frozen pipes. If you do and you live in London, or the problem is at your work premises in London, you are going to need the services of a 24 hour London plumber.
When pipes are in danger of freezing
If you have exposed pipes outside or in an unheated part of the building, they will be in danger of freezing when the temperature drops to zero or below. The usual way of preventing this would be to have any exposed piping lagged. You can buy lagging material from any DIY supermarket or outlet that sells plumbing materials and it is not difficult to fit. It’s simply a case of wrapping the piping with the lagging and fixing it in position with staples or ties. This should prevent them freezing.
If it’s too later however, and your pipes have already frozen, there is a considerable chance that they will burst when the ice melts. If you find yourself in this situation and you need a 24 hour London plumber you can contact us here at CW Services Plumbing and Heating.
The DIY ways of unfreezing your pipes
You may decide that first you would like to have a go at unfreezing your pipes before calling in the professionals. If this is the case, you need to follow the correct procedure or you could easily cause the pipes to burst. Here is what you should do.
The first thing you must do, before carrying out any pipe warming activities is to open any taps so that any steam caused by the warming is able to escape.
The least risky way of trying to unfreeze your pipes is to use hot water. You mustn’t apply this directly however. Instead, use a heavy towel or similar, to wrap around the section on piping. Position a bucket under the pipe then pour hot water over the towel. The towel will concentrate the hot water to the area you need and it will retain the heat for a while.
As an alternative to hot water, you can use a naked flame, but this does present certain dangers. The best tool to use is a propane torch fitted with a flame spreader.
The first hazard you must consider is setting the wall alight behind the pipe. To prevent this, position some sort of flameproof material behind the pipe.
The next risk to be aware of is causing the pipe to burst. To prevent this you must keep the flame constantly moving backwards and forwards. Be careful not to leave the flame in one spot. If you do ii could cause the pipe to burst. Look out for any soldered joints and avoid them if you can, or use the hot water method instead.
If you have plastic pipes, don’t use the naked flame method as you will probably melt the pipe
As an alternative heat source you can always use a hair dryer to heat the air around the pipe. This is much slower than using a propane torch of course, but potentially safer. You won’t need to use a towel, but you should position a bucket under the pipe just in case.
Call a 24 hour London plumber – call CW Services Plumbing and Heating
If you are not DIY minded, the best thing to do is to call a 24 hour London plumber and they don’t come any better than us here at CW Services Plumbing and Heating. You can call us on our landline which is 020 7733 6812, or on our mobile which is 07949 095 184.